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Last week we got a chance to go to two workshops hosted by Smashing Magazine. I went to a workshop hosted by Dan Mall, a superfriendly creative director and advisor from Philadelphia, who talked about responsive design workflow and Mark was lucky enough to meet Vitaly Friedman, the editor-in-chief of Smashing Magazine and chat about front-end patterns over some crunchy veggies at lunch.

The workshop with Dan Mall, was great and very hands-on. A room full of developers and designers from different parts of the world (we had people from Columbia and Belgium).

We talked about making hard decisions at the beginning of the design process to avoid a bunch of unnecessary steps down the road. We talked about weeding through extensive amounts of content and getting down to the essence of the problem. We know that less is more, but it also looks like more is too much. So let’s not be afraid to get rid of anything that isn’t crucial and make what’s left awesome. Finding those core ingredients is what enables outstanding design.

It was interesting to hear about Dan’s experiences working with clients on digging deep into their companies’ core values and making sure those don’t get lost in the design process. And it was a pleasure to meet so many people passionate about design and all the tricky facets of designing for the web today. Smashing conferences are smashing!

Mark Hébert’s Experience:

 I was lucky enough to attend Vitaly Friedman’s, Editor-In-Chief of Smashing Magazine, workshop. Vitaly is extremely passionate about Responsive Web Design and his energy is infectious. We dove right in looking at different front-end patterns and how his examples solved real-world problems. His experience in web design is impressive and he is more than willing to share all that he has learned.

I left the workshop, my head spinning, but feeling excited. I feel like this workshop has given me a global understanding of the issues user-experience design has overcome and the challenges we face moving forward. Our mobile devices are just as, if not more, important than the desktop experience and ensuring users have fast, reliable and easy access to your content is of utmost importance.

For Vitaly, design begins with the core criteria that’s essential to a client’s objective. Then focusing on the smaller components, he perfects those core features before expanding outward to incorporate the larger whole. It’s about using the Atomic design methodology to construct large web design systems. First you establish your basic design patterns for the smallest parts, atoms, before combining those elements to create the larger whole. This process ensures that each individual component works well across all devices and contributes to a cohesive, user-friendly experience.

I can’t wait to review all the resources I gathered from the workshop. Vitaly was kind enough to include all his slide decks, resources, videos from the conference, and so much more! Many thanks Tina for the opportunity for us to go! It was amazing!

Uptown Studios
By Uptown Studios